Underwater Star Kristen Stewart Reveals The Hardest Part Of Filming New Movie

Kristen Stewart in Underwater
(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Kristen Stewart's sci-fi horror movie Underwater is finally opening in theaters next Friday, January 10, 2020. It was made in 2017, so it's been waiting for a while. But when they did film it, they went practical for the stunts as much as possible, as opposed to relying so much on visual effects. So the actors didn't have to fake being scared. Literally being thrown into the deep end like that was the hardest part of making the movie, according to Stewart:

A lot of stuff that we did was super practical. It was fun, it was not hard to do the movie in terms of trying to fantasize and play pretend. It was hard to do the movie because it was scary and it was genuine! It made a lot of these things happen, we blew a lot of stuff up.

As Kristen Stewart told ET Canada in a new interview, Underwater was fun but also genuinely scary to be put in that environment. Stewart told EW a little while ago that she had never made a movie on this scale before:

It was not an easy movie to make — really long and just drippy and cold and f—ing hard. I want to see how we all reacted in such precarious circumstances. It really pulls out the best and worst parts of people.

Kristen Stewart plays Norah Price, part of a crew of underwater researchers who struggle to survive after an earthquake devastates their subterranean lab. Here's more from Stewart to ET Canada on the overall story:

We start out with a group of people that have decided to be completely alone. So their relationship with society and the world at large anyways is in an extreme sense cut off. The idea that their bosses -- the company that runs all of this -- even just their being there has put them in harm's way in the sense that they've accessed sort of inaccessible places, that they've taken things that don't belong to them. That we've mined the bottom of the ocean, that we're digging for oil in a place of such mystery that what comes out is an emergency sort of natural disaster, but really it's a repercussion.

As Kristen Stewart noted, the characters of Underwater are not prepared for what happens, and her own Norah is barefoot and brushing her teeth when it all goes down. The tragedy brings out everyone's true colors, and it turns out Norah has a lot more going on than viewers might initially expect.

I play somebody who in the beginning of the film seems, to herself, to have nothing to lose and therefore feels sort of strong, like she has this tough exterior that is reliable. So she becomes a bit of a leader. But as the movie progresses, you understand she's in the midst of a grieving process, and the reason that she's self-isolated and spent her time on the bottom of the ocean doing a mechanical engineer job on an oil rig is because she isn't very happy or treating herself very well and she's at a loss. And then when she realizes, sort of a little bit too late, that there's never a point as a human being that all is lost and that there's nothing to fight for -- that there's nothing to lose, and that she would do anything to make sure the people she just met would survive -- she really shows herself as a character.

Kristen Stewart told EW she has a protective feeling for Norah and how screenwriters Brian Duffield and Adam Cozad wrote her.

There’s this fragile nature that this girl has, and you just never really know why. Information about her sort of filters out throughout the really traumatic events. That’s where you start to kind of get to know each other, and the deepest parts of yourself come out.

Overall, Kristen Stewart described Underwater as a "really dark, scary meditation on isolation." Her co-stars include Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr. Mamoudou Athie, Gunner Wright, and T.J. Miller, who filmed this role before so many other things happened with him.

If you haven't seen Underwater's trailer yet -- showcasing Kristen Stewart's shaved head, among other things -- check it out:

Underwater closely follows Kristen Stewart's Charlie's Angels movie, which didn't exactly heat up the box office, not that Stewart is too upset about that. According to The Numbers, Underwater had a production budget around $65 million, which wouldn't include marketing costs. We'll have to see if it finds an audience ready for practical stunts and scares when it opens here on January 10.

Keep up with everything heading to the big screen this year with our 2020 movie release date schedule.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.